For more help use this Bible Study method
The Lord Will Provide - A Place and a Promise
by Dan Kidd
Knowing what we know about God, this is an odd and uncomfortable story. We know that ours is not a God who demands sacrifice for his pleasure—especially not human sacrifice. He is the God of life, love, and provision. But this this is an important early chapter, as Abraham (and with him, all of humanity) is learning about who Yahweh is relative to the gods and religions around them. Yahweh had, to this point, been ambivalent about how much he could trust Yahweh. He’d followed God out of his homeland and been promised the blessing of a nation more numerous than the stars—blessed that through him, the world would be blessed. But Abraham had often acted in his own self-preservation, looking not for Yahweh’s provision; twice he’d lied about his relationship with Sarah (fearing the for his safety, he’d claimed she was not his wife, but his sister, and then handing her over to be the bride of Pharaoh and the Abimelek). Abraham had also come to doubt God’s promise about his bearing a son, and so he married Hagar despite Yahweh’s plan that Sarah would birth Isaac.
Despite his failures, Yahweh had been faithful to care for Abraham. In today’s passage, we see evidence that Abraham may have learned his lesson. God calls Abraham to sacrifice Isaac—his “only son”—in Moriah. But when Isaac becomes curious that the sacrificial lamb is conspicuously missing, Abraham responds, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Perhaps Abraham now understands the Lord’s character enough to trust that despite appearances, Yahweh will come through once again. His faith is confirmed.
Abraham named that mount in Moriah his learned confession, “The Lord will Provide.” There would now be a place on the map, a mountain standing tall and true, that proclaims the character and care of our God.
This is the truth about God: He will provide. We can trust that God is for us—that what he says will be will be. Certainly, there have been times, and there are times to come, when all does not seem right or well to us—times where we’ve convinced ourselves that our fate rests on our grit and cunning. But Abraham learned otherwise. Let us have faith that God is generous and capable, and let us put our full trust in his will and way.
Cup Prayer: This prayer will help you pour your heart out to God (Ps. 62:8). Begin with your hands folded together like an upside-down cup. Pour out before God all your fears, anxieties, guilt, sin and shame. Tell Him what troubles you. Take time to be specific. When you feel like you’ve poured out your heart, flip your hands over, folding them like an open cup, ready to receive from God. Sit in silence, asking God simply to fill you with His Spirit. If your mind runs back to sin, shame, anxiety or concerns of the day, flip your hands back over and pour it out to the Lord. When you are finished praying, read today’s Scripture and listen as God shares His heart back with you.